Find out what exactly happens in your body when you swallow a chewing gum, and if it really has any consequence.
Myths about what happens if you swallow a gum were very popular when you were a child. Surely you’ve heard a lot of them: that stuck to your gut or that stays in your stomach for 7 years.
For your peace of mind, none of them is true.
What really happens when you swallow a chewing gum?
Basically, chewing gum goes through your body like any food, but it is not completely digested.
The chewing gums are made with gum resin, preservatives, flavorings and sweeteners.
The stomach cannot digest the gum resin. But there is no need to worry, nor will it stick to the intestines, nor will it accumulate forming a giant ball, or anything like that.
But when we swallow to chewing gum, although our digestive system is not able to process to chewing gum in the same way as any other food, if it is able to move it and eliminate it through the feces.
Can It Be Dangerous To Swallow A Chewing Gum?
The only thing you have to worry about is that you get choked.
In very rare cases, when we swallow a large gum or many small gums in a short period of time, a blockage of the digestive tract may occur.
Young children are more likely to have this problem because they sometimes do not understand that the chewing gum is chewed, and it does not swallow. For that reason it is advisable to give them chewing gum.
Swallowing a chewing gum will not harm or kill you, but it is not logical to swallow them on purpose.
Chewing gum: A habit harmful to the health of adolescents
Adolescents who suffer from headaches should avoid chewing excess gum in order to reduce and prevent the worsening of the symptoms of their headaches.Health problems from chewing gum
Teenagers and chewing gum frequently
Researchers studied 30 adolescents, with a middle age of 16 years, who had chronic migraine headaches.
They were asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding the characteristics of their headaches, the possible triggers, the existence of headaches among their family members, as well as the time they chewed gum every day. The patients were divided into four groups based on the amount of time they chewed gum daily, and everyone was asked to stop chewing gum for a month.
After the period of time when they did not chew gum, 26 of them reported a significant improvement, even 19 of them stopped suffering completely from headaches.
After the month, when they returned to re-establish the habit of chewing gum, 20 of the studied subjects returned to suffer from a headache.
Chewing gum and headaches
A possible explanation for the association that exists between chewing gum and headaches is the tension exerted on the temporomandibular joint, the place where the skull and jaw meet.
Chewing gum causes the wear of cartilage that acts as a buffer in the joints of the jaw, which could end up triggering pain.
In addition, if chewing excess gum, the nerves of the mandibular area can cause the appearance of recurrent headaches.